The Rolling Stones recorded a song back in the 60’s that went, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some times, you just might find, you get what you need.” I interpret that lyric to mean, when you don’t get your way, you better find a way to deal with it. For me, the best way to counteract a loss or a disappointment is to focus on what I do have. Some people call this an attitude of gratitude. When I was a kid and I was struggling to finish my dinner, it happened on the rare occasion my mom served Brussels sprouts, she would invoke the plight of the “starving Armenians.” I didn’t even know where Armenia was, and, even if I had, I couldn’t understand how my Brussels Sprouts were going to affect the Armenians one way or the other. The point being, my sense of gratitude was not being awakened by this remote appeal to my guilt. As an adult, I have found that there are indeed things for which I am intensely grateful. Clearly, I am grateful for my wife, my children and my grand children. But there is something else which surpasses that gratitude. I am grateful to be able to make a difference in the lives of my students, at least some of the time. But there is something more basic that I am grateful for. I am grateful for my health, my home and my faith, but beyond all those things I am grateful for something more fundamental. I am grateful to be able to choose what to do with my life. I literally make hundreds of choices a day. I can choose to help a friend or ignore a request. I can choose what battles I want to fight and which ones I want to ignore. I can choose whom I will be vulnerable with and with whom I will be a true and honored friend. It is my freedom of choice that I am most truly grateful for. I may not always get what I want, but I get to choose, and that’s what really matters.